Review: Burning Doors (Belarus Free Theatre/Luminato)

Maria Alyokhina in Burning DoorsBurning Doors is a difficult but deeply relevant play, now on the Toronto stage

Burning Doors, performed by Belarus Free Theatre, and currently being presented as part of the 2018 Luminato Festival is not an easy play to watch. In fact, if I had to describe it in one word, I would choose “painful.” It covers painful subject matter, and the performers must be in physical pain for large parts of the evening. But in spite the pain I felt watching it, I think it was an important play to see. Burning Doors highlights the power of art as political resistance. At a time when there seems to be an unending list of things to protest, it shines a bright, harsh light on both the risks and the necessity of doing so. Continue reading Review: Burning Doors (Belarus Free Theatre/Luminato)

Review: Wicked (Mirvish)

Photo of Ginna Claire Mason & Mary Kate Morrissey in WickedThe hit Broadway musical Wicked returns to Toronto

Since it opened on Broadway in 2003, the musical Wicked has become an international phenomenon. It has played over 100 cities in 15 countries, raking in over $4.5 billion in global ticket sales and winning over millions of fans in the process. A touring production of the show has just touched down at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre for a fifth engagement and—as with any long-running show—the question is; does Wicked retain its magic or does it show its age? Continue reading Review: Wicked (Mirvish)

Review: It’s A Goddamn Stupid Life (Imaginary Solutions Co.)

Speculative Trump-inspired comedy takes to the Toronto stage

The Political Science major in me was excited to see the play, It’s a Goddamn Stupid Life, now playing at the Solar Stage at Wychwood Theatre. It promised political satire in the near future (2025) when Trump has somehow managed to get a third term in office.

This play is not specifically about Trump, but about the political climate surrounding him, as seen through the story of Harvey Ubu (Damien Gulde) and the sex robot he has created, Mary Ann (Andrea Werhun), as well as the main character Dave Kafka (Neal Armstrong), a creative who just wants to be a jazz musician and is trying to put a perfect band together. These characters are perfect vehicles for taking a shot at the prevalence of misogyny and other capitalistic ills in society.

Continue reading Review: It’s A Goddamn Stupid Life (Imaginary Solutions Co.)

Review: String of Pearls (Labour of Love)

String of Pearls Poster, Toronto, June 2018“Authentic” show about women’s stories arrives on the Toronto stage

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from seeing the Canadian Premiere of Michele Lowe’s String of Pearls at Artscape Youngplace. I knew that the show involved a pearl necklace and women’s stories, but not much else.

I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. The production itself was minimalistic, with no tickets or programmes. Thankfully, the power of the story itself and strong acting by all four performers made this show a memorable experience.

Continue reading Review: String of Pearls (Labour of Love)

Kid +1 Review: Potted Potter (Starvox)

Harry Potter parody show arrives to make magic on the Toronto stage

First things first: my eight-year-old loved this show SO MUCH and giggled like a fiend the entire time. If your child under the age of about 14 is a big fan of Harry Potter, just accept with good cheer that you ought to be going to see Potted Potter at the CAA Theatre, and the show will be good-natured silly fun. The concept–all 7 books in 7 minutes–goes past a Cole’s Notes and squarely into a sort of theatrical shorthand, so if you’ve never read the books you’re mostly just watching two dudes do some skilled slapstick and improv. Then again, no one ever suffered for that.

Continue reading Kid +1 Review: Potted Potter (Starvox)

Review: Molly Bloom (Fourth Gorgon Theatre)

Fourth Gorgon Theatre explores the Ulysses character in four unique parts, playing in Toronto

The main draw for Molly Bloom — on stage at Majlis Art Garden until June 16 — is the precision and confidence that come from Fourth Gorgon Theatre having developed the show over the last five years. Seeing as we’re dealing with an adaptation of the last chapter of James Joyce’s notoriously dense Ulysses, cohesion is exactly what you’re looking for.

Continue reading Review: Molly Bloom (Fourth Gorgon Theatre)

Review: Cocktales with Maria (Tapestry Opera/Pride Toronto)

Cocktales with Maria is raunchy, provocative and explicit opera at its finest, played in Toronto

Cocktales with Maria, playing as part of TAP THIS: A Queerated Opera Series (Tapestry Opera in collaboration with Pride Toronto) was possibly too explicit for some, but one hundred percent on point for my companion and I. Continue reading Review: Cocktales with Maria (Tapestry Opera/Pride Toronto)